Cyber spring cleaning: Your digital home hygiene checklist

Emma McGowan 18 Apr 2023

From daily routines to monthly rituals, here’s to your cyber health!

With any spring cleaning project, a checklist can help you remember all of the essential tasks for organizing, decluttering, and maintaining your physical home. The same is needed to keep your digital home spotless and secure.

And to ensure you don’t slide back into poor cyber hygiene habits, set up rituals and routines that you can uphold throughout the year. From file back-ups to password resets, here’s a ten-point checklist to keep you on track: 

  1. Clean all devices: Just like objects and surfaces throughout your home, your digital devices are also prone to collecting germs, crumbs, and dust. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away smudges and disinfect your phones, laptops, and tablets. 

  2. Organize critical files: As mentioned in Organizing your digital home, leverage a digital organization system to help organize your critical files and avoid an excess of duplicate documents from cluttering your desktop. Create labeled folders to manage these files for quick and easy access when needed. 

  3. Back up essential files: Export all important files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Knowing that your data is backed up provides much needed security and peace of mind in your digital home.

  4. Clear out inboxes: Keep your email clutter-free by unsubscribing from e-newsletters and deleting old emails. A backlog of unread/partially read emails can cause personal and private information to get buried and become accessible to hackers. 

  5. Practice password hygiene: A good password is like a key to your digital home that protects you from cyber threats. Routinely updating passwords and creating unique combinations containing upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols reduces the risk of hacked credentials. 

  6. Check security settings: Make sure your online accounts have the most up-to-date privacy settings to protect against potential cyber threats. Review your social media and email profiles and manually adjust the privacy settings to avoid sharing information you don't want accessed or published online. 

  7. Update all devices: Stay on top of the latest features that protect data, improve performance, and patch security flaws on your devices. As mentioned in Maintaining your digital home, take a moment to check that you have enabled automatic software updates to defend against potential threats to maintain a tidy digital home. 

  8. Install antivirus software: Secure your digital home with the ultimate all-in-one cyber solution Avast One Platinum. This integrated antivirus software provides premium features, including identity theft protection, credit and dark web monitoring, and 24/7 dedicated tech support to keep your digital home safe from cyber harm.

  9. Tidy up social media: Go through your social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and delete, unfollow, and unfriend social media bots or people you no longer interact with. 

  10. Throw out digital trash: Toss out digital clutter as you would junk from your garage. As mentioned in Decluttering your digital home, wipe out all existing data and follow all recycling guidelines when discarding your digital devices.

These are must-dos to achieve optimum cyber health, so please download, save, or bookmark this checklist to keep it handy.  Happy year-round cyber cleaning!

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